Value of a 1934 Webster's Dictionary?

What is the value of a 1934 Webster's New International dictionary of the english language second edition unabridged hard cover. G. & C. Merriam Company. Printed in Springfield, Mass. USA?

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July 18, 20180 found this helpful

Its not worth much now. It will be worth more in 2034, when it is 100 years old.

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July 18, 20180 found this helpful

Please double check me that I found one that is an EXACT match to yours, but it looks like one sold on eBay 109.99 + 21.98 for shipping (VALUE = 137.97--see below to see what I mean by this)

The reason I stress exact match is that is the best way to determine to make apples to apples comparison with what you have in front of you, exact book and condition and what sold.


If it is similar, you may want to go to eBay completed and look at the others that sold to find an exact match to try to figure value for yours.

DO NOT USE ACTIVE AUCTIONS TO DETERMINE VALUE THOUGH...ONLY SOLD AUCTIONS WILL TELL YOU WHAT SOMEONE WILL ACTUALLY PAYS--PAY = VALUE. If there are a bunch that sold of the exact item and they are all different, you can average them together and divide by the number to get the best "value".

When trying to determine your selling price (value), I use the price people paid PLUS shipping (which I know a lot of people disagree with me about) because if you are selling the at a face to face venue, it is helpful to know the EXACT amount someone forked over for an item when setting your price.

So, if someone paid $100 with free shipping (you could value the item at 100). If someone paid 50 for an item and 50 for shipping, same thing (50 + 50 = 100).


The thing with VALUE is it is TOTALLY DIFFERENT THAN PROFIT. Meaning in the eBay example, if the item sold for $100 with free shipping, the seller only netted (and I am using round numbers for reference only) less than 50 because shipping something this heavy is expensive in that case is paid by the SELLER, plus the eBay and Paypal fees are paid by the seller also.

Hope this gets you started in getting a value for you dictionary!

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July 19, 20180 found this helpful

Vintage books are very difficult to find an "exact" match because as their condition will usually always be quite different.

  • eBay is a very good place to try and find value as it and Amazon are the largest book selling sites in the world.
  • I always suggest people look at listings for currently listed for sale items on these sites as it gives them a good idea as to how many of these (and very similar) books are being offered for sale. It also gives them an opportunity to keep watch on any of these items to see if they sell or to see how long a seller will keep a book listed (usually months and months or years).
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  • They can always check the sold listings to see how the sold price compares with any of the asking prices. It is rare to find an old book that sold that is exactly like the one you may have in your possession as the condition will always vary.
  • You never know why a person may be looking for a particular book but most of the time they want a book in good to very good condition - especially the cover and binding (unless it is a very rare book of course).
  • I noticed in the eBay sold listings that 2 books sold that from first glance look like your book, but on closer examination you will find they are a different "edition" and have "with reference history" on their binding. This can be a very sought after edition and worth more than a regular edition.
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  • Pghgirl40 and I look for true/actual value in different ways as she considers the shipping cost as part of the value (although not profit) and I contend that selling price is what people generally consider the value of an item.
  • My thinking goes along with Small Business Administration teachings when help set up an online store. Their thoughts generally contend that people look for a price to pay and consider shipping cost as an "afterthought" as many look at online sales as a "store" and shipping will be considered AFTER they have read all about the item and many times already decided if they want it or not before shipping costs are considered. Usually, only exorbitant shipping costs will keep them from buying the item but they still consider they paid the original price (less shipping) for their item. That said, views change frequently and differ in different areas so what holds true today may change tomorrow.
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  • Of course, there are always going to be people (like me) that add it all up before they decide to buy, but, it seems, people like me may be in the minority.
  • Now, on the other side of the coin, free shipping is the biggest gimmick going in online sales and it makes small sellers try to compete with large sellers (who get very big shipping discounts - like maybe $2-$3 for any and every item they ship - because of the quantity they ship) but small sellers still have to pay for shipping so all of that has to be taken into account and it can become very confusing.
  • I would consider your dictionary (in <good condition?) to be valued at $35-$60 based on the sales that I have seen (I was born in 1934 and I check many, many books from that year) but how long it would take to sell is anybody's guess.
  • Even if you decide to list on eBay I would suggest you also list on your local sale sites, especially Craigslist, as sales are very good on these sites.
  • Be sure to take very good pictures and give a very honest condition in the description (look at listings and do a better job).
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